Re: clarity

Christopher Pound (pound@IS.RICE.EDU)
Sat, 9 Apr 1994 02:21:51 -0500

John (?) writes:
>Chris writes:
>>John (?) writes:
>>> (5) I am willing to have it demonstrated that Derrida has useful
>>> things to say. I am not willing to regard pointers to other authors
>>> ("See so-and-so's XXX) as evidence. I am waiting for someone who
>>> will show me that there is some specific cultural phenomenon his
>>> ideas illuminate.
>> OK, here's a few: [phenomena + texts
ALL of which
were written by Derrida

> Is this, or is this not, precisely what I said would not count as evidence.

It is not. You said, "I am not willing to regard pointers to OTHER
authors ... as evidence" (emphasis mine). I gave references to specific
cultural phenomena and the specific text in which they are illuminated
by Derrida.

Whether your writing is clear or obscure, you ought to at least admit
to what you have said. (I do agree with that other person on the list
who said that language is ready-made for lying, and advertising is definitely
the art of combining clarity with deception, so I see no hypocrisy in
your position; however, what you're coming up against is one of the features
of the "violence of the letter," and as long as you refuse to read any
Derrida, you will probably always be its subject :-)

Christopher Pound ( | They think they are Parisians, but
Department of Anthropology, Rice U. | they are nothing. -- Pierre Bourdieu